I love the evocative name of this dish which is a very common dish in restaurants in China, especially in the Northeast of China. It is easy to cook and best eaten with rice. It is so named because the 3 main ingredients are fresh vegetables – peppers, potato and aubergine.
Shane says Shan’s first attempt to cook this dish was delicious and he sent us this photo of her efforts.
Di San Xian
- Soy sauce
- Oyster sauce (optional)
- Vegetable cooking oil/ groundnut oil
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 potato (about 150g)
- 1 eggplant/aubergine (about 150g)
- Half each of a fresh green and red pepper
- Peel garlic and chop to thin slices.
- Put a generous amount oil in wok and start to heat it up.
- Cut the potato into triangles or any irregular shape. Note: the thickness of each piece should be relatively even. Put them into the wok immediately after cutting (or put in water to steep and drain before you put in oil). Deep fry potato pieces until they look golden brown (almost like potato wedges). Use chopsticks or a fork to poke them to test if they are cooked. Once cooked, take potato out and place in a big bowl lined with kitchen towel to absorb extra oil.
- While deep frying the potato, cut aubergine to similar shapes and peppers to triangle shapes. Put aubergine in water to prevent oxidisation. Take out and drain when potato is cooked.
- Put 3 tbs of cooking oil in the wok. Heat up and put half of the sliced garlic in when oil is hot.
- Fry the garlic until it is getting golden at the edges then put drained aubergine in. Stir fry until the aubergine is half cooked (almost transparent but the centre is still a bit white).
- Put the potato and pepper in. Add a small amount of salt, a pinch of sugar and half a tbs of soy sauce and oyster sauce (or just soy sauce is fine).
- Add the rest of garlic and stir fry until the aubergine is all cooked then it’s ready to serve (go easy on salt and soy sauce as you can always add more later).
Variations to the dish
You can replace pepper with chilli if you like spicy food. You can also add a bit water or chicken stock to stew it until eggplant is almost melting. It then almost tastes like a vegetable curry when served with rice. Add some slices of carrots in at the end if you want some chunky bits. If you fancy a vegetarian meal, this is ideal – just cook larger portion.